debunking the myths –
common arguments against the carbon tax

While people can certainly disagree with the carbon tax and rebate policy, their criticisms are often misleading. Let’s examine some carbon tax concerns, point by point.

One criticism you’ll consistently see is that opponents seem to be (intentionally?) ignoring the fact that all the money from the tax is returned to households, leaving the vast majority of households better off financially. (Of course, there are legitimate critiques of the policy – and we have ways we’d like to see it improved too.)

what opponents are saying

It’s just a tax grab

The carbon tax is just an excuse for the government to take more money out of hard working Canadians’ pockets to fuel out of control government spending.


This is misleading. The majority of households will be better off financially because the government is returning 90% of the tax directly to households (the rest goes to businesses and nonprofits). The average Ontario family of 4 will get $600 in rebates in 2021, and a total of $2,073 by 2022. 

Cost of Living

Canadians can’t afford a new tax that will make driving to work, heating your home, and buying groceries more expensive.


This point ignores the fact that the government is giving 90% of the funds back to Canadian families as rebates. Most Canadians will be better off–receiving more in rebates than they pay in extra costs. A carbon tax is also the lowest-cost way to address climate change. 

Hurts the economy

The carbon tax will kill jobs and hurt our economy by unfairly imposing a new tax on small business.


Carbon pricing is universally considered the lowest cost way to address climate change. By returning money to households and businesses, the economic impact will be minimal. In fact, a carbon price can spur economic growth in some fast-rising sectors like clean energy. Despite what opponents say, many businesses across Canada support it, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes.

It’s ineffective

The carbon tax will do nothing for the environment, all it does is hurt Canadian families.


Carbon pricing around the world has been proven to reduce fuel use and change behaviour. In BC, which has the fastest growing economy in Canada, carbon emissions are up to 15% lower than they otherwise would have been. The federal government is also rebating 90% of the money back to households, leaving most families better off. Carbon pricing is fair and effective.

Hurts commuters

When carbon tax proponents talk about polluters, they’re really talking about commuters. Whether you’re doing errands, going to work, or driving your kids to hockey, you’ll pay more at the pumps.


You will pay 8 cents more at the pumps in 2021 so that is true, but 90% of this money goes back to families. That means most families are actually better off with carbon rebates. A family of 4 in Ontario will get $2,073 in rebates by 2022. 


Do you really trust the government to address climate change without costing you more money?


Under the government’s federal carbon pricing law, they are legally obligated to return carbon rebate money to you.

Rest of world

Canadians can’t solve climate on their own–we shouldn’t have a carbon tax until countries like China and the United States start taking real action.


The effects of climate change impact all of us, and we all need to take action. Canada has an important role to play, as one of the world’s top 10 emitters.  If we don’t act, how do we expect the 183 countries that emit less than us to do their part? Plus, China now has carbon pricing in its power sector. The US has carbon pricing across 1/3 of its economy. And let’s remember that acting on climate is now an important economic strategy – we will benefit by being leaders in the low-carbon marketplace. 

Exemptions for emitters

The federal government is giving special deals to big polluters while charging you the full price of the carbon tax.


Polluters are charged the same carbon price as individuals. There are rebates going to certain emitters, just like households, because they export products and we need to keep Canada competitive while fighting climate change. Far from being a policy loophole, the rebates to industry are a key way to ensure our export industry stays strong.

Tax on tax

Not only is the government charging you more at the pumps and to heat your home, but you’ll have to pay HST on their new carbon tax.


We agree that in an ideal scenario the HST should be returned to households as well. We hope the government will consider making this change to the policy.